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BGSU MBB vs Bellarmine Preview

Drake Harlett

After suffering their first defeat of the season and the Todd Simon era against Oakland in Auburn Hills, Michigan, on Tuesday, the Bowling Green men’s basketball team (2-1) returns to the Stroh Center to battle the Bellarmine Knights (0-3) on Friday, Nov. 17, with tipoff set for 7 p.m.  

The Falcons are looking to stay undefeated at the Stroh Center following home wins against Chicago State and Arkansas State.  

Matchup History   

Friday night will mark the first matchup between the two programs. It also marks just the fourth game the Knights have played against a current Mid-American Conference (MAC) team, having previously faced off against Central Michigan once and the Miami RedHawks twice.  

Bellarmine marks the 317th different opponent for the Falcons in the program’s history.  

Scouting Bellarmine  

Bellarmine enters the matchup against the Falcons without a win this season, with all three losses coming on the road.   

The Knights have fallen to the University of Washington, 91-57, Kansas State University, 83-75 and the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, 72-64.  

After getting blown out in their first game by the Huskies, Bellarmine nearly upset Kansas State, outscoring the Wildcats 44-37 in the second half.  

In their most recent loss against UTC, Bellarmine raced out to a 12-2 lead at the start of the game. After going back and forth for much of the contest, they led by five points with just under four minutes remaining. 

However, the Knights would not score another point, as the Mocs closed the game on a 13-0 run.  

Bellarmine’s defense has been a major weakness this season, which was very evident in the final four minutes of their last game. 

Through three games, the Knights have allowed an opponent field goal percentage of 51.1%, which ranks dead last in the Atlantic Sun Conference (ASUN). BU also gives up 82.0 points per game and an opponent three-point percentage of 35.4%, both of which rank second to last in the ASUN.  

Their interior defense has been especially poor, as they have tallied just two blocks through three games this season.  

Bellarmine’s rebounding has also been a glaring weakness early on this season.   

The Knights are grabbing just 27.3 rebounds per game, ranking last in the ASUN. They allow 37.7 opponent rebounds per game, resulting in a –10.4 rebounding margin, which also ranks last in the conference.  

Compared to their defense, the Knights have not been near as poor on offense this season. 

Bellarmine averages 65.3 points per game on 41.5% shooting from the field and 33.8% from beyond the arc. However, they average 13.3 turnovers per game, with opponents scoring 21.0 points per game off those giveaways.  

Scouting Bowling Green   

Although they gave up 81 points in their loss against Oakland, the Falcons still rank as one of the top defenses in the MAC through three games.  

BG allows just 65.7 points per game, with only Ball State (53.0) and Akron (61.7) allowing fewer points per game among MAC teams.  

A major strength of BGSU’s defense has been down low, as the Falcons average 4.3 blocks per game, which, along with Northern Illinois, ranks first in the MAC.  

Offensively, the Falcons average 71.0 points per game on 45.8% shooting from the field. However, BG has struggled from three-point range and the charity stripe through the first three games.  

Bowling Green has made just 18 of their 66 shot attempts from beyond the arc this season, good enough for a three-point percentage of just 27.3%, which ranks last in the MAC.  

Currently, freshman guard EJay Greer, who has made one of his three shot attempts from three-point range, and senior guard DaJion Humphrey, who has made seven of his 13 shot attempts from beyond the arc, are the only Falcons who have a three-point percentage above 30%.   

At the free-throw line this season, BG has made just 33 of their 54 attempts, good for just 66.0%, ahead of only Miami (61.5%) in the MAC.  

Falcon Four Players to Watch   

Jason Spurgin (Bowling Green #7)  

The 7-foot center from Toowoomba, Australia, is coming off his best performance as a Falcon, a 17-point and 10 rebound double-double in BG’s loss against Oakland. His performance against the Golden Grizzlies marked the first double-double by a Falcon this season.  

Spurgin had his most efficient offensive performance of the year last game, shooting 7-12 from the field and 3-5 from the free-throw line in 26 minutes of action.  

Spurgin has been the primary rim protector for the Falcons this season. He currently ranks second in the MAC with two blocks per game.  

Sam Towns (Bowling Green #14)  

The senior center from Columbus, Ohio, is coming off his best performance of the season against Oakland.   

Towns nearly posted a double-double against the Golden Grizzlies, scoring 10 points on 5-6 shooting from the field while adding nine rebounds.  

Towns is tied with senior forward Rashaun Agee for the team lead in field goal percentage, with 66.7% on 10-15 shooting, and rebounds per game, with 6.7.  

Ben Johnson (Bellarmine #33)  

The redshirt sophomore guard has been Bellarmine’s best player on offense through the first three games of the season.  

Johnson currently leads the Knights in points per game (12.3), three-pointers made (7) and three-point percentage (43.8%).   

In Bellarmine’s last game against the Mocs, Johnson scored 19 points, shooting 7-14 from the field, 3-7 from beyond the arc and 2-2 from the charity stripe.   

Peter Suder (Bellarmine #5)  

The sophomore guard led Bellarmine in scoring last game with 21 points, shooting 8-14 from the field, 2-5 from three-point range and 3-4 from the free-throw line. Suder also led the Knights with 36 minutes played and four steals.  

This season, Suder is shooting just 38.9% from the field and 33.3% from beyond the arc. However, he ranks first on the team in steals (6), second in assists (8) and third in points per game (11.3). 

For more stories related to BGSU Athletics, follow Falcon Media Sports Network on X (@bg_fmsn).

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Tyler Kavalecz, Sports Production Director

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